“To be grateful for an unanswered prayer, to give thanks in a state of interior desolation, to trust in the love of God in the face of the marvels, cruel circumstances, obscenities, and commonplaces of life is to whisper a doxology in darkness.” Brennan Manning

Back in September, I wanted to teach one of the songs that I’ve written (for corporate worship) to the congregation where I lead. I’ve recorded this song a few times, and still wanted to give it a bit of a fresh touch, so we did a recording session with cameras rolling. The song is Holy Obsession, and as I dusted off the song, the Lord brought many things back to my mind: how I came to write this song and what was going on in my life at the time, as well as the seasons of life in which I’ve sung this song, are all things that I have been contemplating a lot lately.


Verse 1:
You are my holy obsession; (Psalm 63:1 & 6-8)
You are my burning desire. (Psalm 73:25)
You are the stream my soul longs for; (Psalm 42:1)
You are a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29)

Pre Chorus:
At night Your song is with me
A prayer to the God of my life (Psalm 42:8)
Daytime & nighttime fall at the feet of
You who reign as the Holy One on High (Psalm 97:1)

One thing I ask
One thing I seek
To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
All the days of my life (Psalm 27:4)

Verse 2:
In the morning I cling to Your mercy
I declare Your love in the day
Twilight breathes of Your mystery
Your faithfulness I proclaim (Lamentations 3:22-23)

© 2006 Joel A Bidderman

Henri Nouwen wrote of the spiritual work of gratitude: “To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”

I’m thankful for the guiding hand of an extravagantly loving God. For every step of the journey – even the ones that hurt my feet. Holy Obsession, once again is a declaration of that, and a declaration of the One Thing that I long for.